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Jan 18, 2019 / 14:11

Digital transformation offers Vietnam pathway to prosperity : Minister

Vietnam has to accept and integrate new things much faster than others. Staying behind or moving at the same pace, there would be no chance for Vietnam to catch up with others, a minister has said.

Digital transformation is an inevitable trend and would offer Vietnam a pathway to prosperity, according to Nguyen Manh Hung, minister of information and communications.
 
Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung. Source: Zing.
Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung. Source: Zing.
As part of the digital transformation, a digital economy would help Vietnam increase productivity and economic growth, Hung said at the Vietnam Economic Forum on January 17.

Such growth is considered sustainable, which is more of a knowledge-based instead of natural resources exploitation. Moreover, the cost to participate in a digital economy is low, enabling a wider public involvement, Hung added. 

Digital economy first came to Vietnam since the late 1980s with the appearance of personal computers, which later grew strongly thanks to internet and smartphones in the late 2000s. 

More importantly, the Fourth Industrial Revolution in late 2010 has provided a solid platform for the digital economy in Vietnam to boom, Hung continued. 

According to Hung, in 2019, the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) would submit to Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc proposal on national digital transformation, providing measures to help develop Vietnamese digital enterprises. 

In addition to new opportunities, digital technologies also give birth to new business models in replacement of the old ones and create new challenges, Hung stressed, which are the cases of Uber and Grab against traditional taxis and fintech against banks. 

The problem lies in whether new business models are accepted, as this is the only way for new technologies and talents from all over the world to come to Vietnam, and ultimately the birth of new industries, Hung added. 

However, Vietnam has to accept and integrate new things much faster than others. He stated that staying behind or moving at the same pace, there would be no chance for Vietnam to change the country’s position. There will always be a risk of losing if Vietnam accepts new things, but with not much to lose, so this is Vietnam’s opportunity, Hung emphasized. 

Hung proposed a sandbox approach, which is a closed testing environment designed for experimenting new things, so that policy makers could monitor and draft up suitable policies. 

Hung pointed to major factors supporting the development of Vietnam’s digital economy, including international standard IT infrastructure, appropriate legal frameworks, and human resources.